President Theater

343 E. Garfield Boulevard,
Chicago, IL 60637

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1916, President Theater, 343 E. 55th Place. Daily News photo.

The President Theater opened in the Washington Park neighborhood, just across from the namesake park itself, in 1911. It was located on E. Garfield Boulevard at S. Park Avenue, now Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive. The 781-seat theater was originally independently owned, but was acquired by the Louise Amusements chain later in 1911, then still later, by the Brunhild & Young circuit.

The President Theater would later became the first theater in the eventually sizable Ascher Brothers chain. The theater closed in 1924 was was converted into a dance hall. It was torn down around 1972.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

davidplomin on March 9, 2015 at 3:46 pm

Opened in 1911 and closed in 1924?! Such a nice facade. I wonder why such a short life? You would think a theater this size could have weathered many a change. Nice facade lit by bulbs!

Broan on November 13, 2016 at 9:10 am

This would have been on Garfield Blvd/55th, not 55th Place. Historic Aerials show that it stood until at least 1972. It seems to have operated as a series of dance halls and bars after closing as a theater, most notably the Rhumboogie Cafe.

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